To the Lane and Back’s recent piece took a look at who Spurs should sign in January and while Gary Cahill looks to be the top of Harry Redknapp’s defensive wish-list, a lot further forward, two strikers are being linked with moves to White Hart Lane; Leandro Damiao and Seydou Doumbia.
Now, we didn’t look at the two players in any great depth so now is the chance to analyse the duo on which striker would be better suited for Spurs and why?
The Brazilian hot-shot has been turning heads in his homeland for almost two years now, scoring over 40 goals for Internacional. Part of the same Copa Liberdatores winning team as current Spurs man Sandro, the midfielder attempted to convince Leandro his future lay at White Hart Lane during the summer transfer window and, judging by the success of his former team-mate, you can understand why the 21-year-old was so desperate to have his compatriot join him in North London.
A commercial relationship between both Spurs and Internacional should help ease negotiations between both parties, should Spurs offer an acceptable fee for the striker. This was the main stumbling block in the summer as to why Leandro hadn’t moved to White Hart Lane sooner. Three offers were turned down for the front-man before he signed a new five-year deal with the Brazilian side.
His value his increased tremendously since his decision to remain in his homeland with and, having scored a goal apiece in the pre-season Audi Cup against both Barcelona and AC Milan, a majority of Europe’s heavyweights have sat up and taken a firm interest in Leandro. With figures of around £30m being mooted for the ‘Brazilian Emile Heskey’, as World Soccer brilliantly dubbed him, a fee that any club may stump up in order to snare him away from Internacional.
Some Spurs fans believe the club have missed the boat in signing him while other feel his contract extension was just so the Brazilian outfit could hold onto one of their prized assets until the culmination of the Brasilero. If that is the case, then a deal may have already been finalised ala Sandro almost two-years ago. But, if it’s true that only an offer of at least £30m will be enough to snare him, then the North London side may have missed out on a player that packs enormous talent in abundance. His number 9-esc capabilities will see him catapulted to stardom in the not too distant future and his gain will certainly be Spurs loss, if a deal hasn’t already been organised.
The 23-year-old has only recently been seriously linked with a move away from CSKA Moscow. Yet, Doumbia is welcoming said links with welcome arms, especially with the kind words about Harry Redknapp, stating the Spurs manager is one ‘all the African players talk about and admire. It is true that the former Portsmouth and West Ham boss is a big fan of players from the giant continent and is Doumbia likely to be the latest recruit by Redknapp?
To the Lane and Back will make a stark confession, we have never really heard much of the Ivory Coast man until his name started becoming associated with Spurs in recent weeks but, with 20 league goals in 37 apps(?), he can’t wouldn’t be all too bad an addition at White Hart Lane. However, three problems instantly spring to mind when talk of Doumbia arises. 1) The potential of losing him for the best part of January. With Doumbia in rip-roaring form, it is highly unlikely he won’t be selected for the national side for the prestigious competition. While Adebayor won’t be travelling with the Togo squad, following international retirement over 18-months ago, the CSKA man will be linking up with the likes of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Cheik Tiote for the four week competition.
It can have serious repercussions on a players season, in 2007 Didier Zokora suffered a bout of Malaria following the tournament and was forced to spend an extra three weeks sidelined with the illness. This can bring me on to point 2), his price. Some media outlets have reported that for £30m + Roman Pavlyuchenko, Doumbia will be a Spurs man. But, why spend so much money in January before seeing him leave for four weeks and risk potential injury? There is the chance of waiting, but if he shines at the tournament, his value will likely skyrocket should he perform as well as some websites suggest. Finally, point 3) strikers from Russia have a tendency of failing to live up to expectations. Yuri Zhirkov, our own Pavlyuchenko and former Manchester City front-man Jo have all tried to hack the gruelling English league and two of the aforementioned three have already accepted defeat and left with their tail in between their legs.
While I will happily be proved wrong, especially if Doumbia can be picked up on the cheap, it is a substantial risk that Spurs are unlikely to take, especially when Leandro has already proven, to an extent, that he can perform against two of the worlds best teams. So, with that in mind, To the Lane and Back are firmly of the opinion that if push came to shove, Leandro would be the better acquisition of the two strikers. If Spurs can get both, then they should go for it but with that proving highly unlikely, Leandro gets the nod over Doumbia in our opinion.